Apple is a market darling again
Apple is a market darling again

The company, which reports its quarterly earnings Tuesday, has once again become an investor favorite.


Heads roll at Barclays as authorities investigate other banks for interest-rate manipulation.

By The Fiscal Times Jul 6, 2012 2:08PM
By Yuval RosenbergThe Fiscal Times

The scandal surrounding Barclays PLC has already created turmoil in the British banking giant's executive suite -- but it could reach much further before it's resolved. 

Barclays (BCS) chairman Marcus Agius resigned Monday but then agreed to stay on as the company searches for a replacement for CEO Bob Diamond, who abruptly resigned the following day. Chief operating officer Jerry del Missier also stepped down, and many more heads could roll if the scandal over manipulation of a key interest rate, called the Libor, mushrooms. Even as it is, the investigations into misdeeds by Barclays and other banks have wide-reaching implications for the financial sector -- and for millions of businesses and consumers in the U.S. and abroad. 

Here is a guide to the scandal and its potential fallout:

The company is reportedly experimenting with the new feature, which would help juice its ad sales and e-commerce partnerships.

By Kim Peterson Jul 6, 2012 1:50PM
Image: African-American woman shopping online (© Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images)Facebook (FB) users already have a "like" button. Is a "want" button coming next?

Web developer Tom Waddington has found the code for a "want" button in Facebook's Javascript and he embedded the code into his personal blog last week, Mashable reports. Click here to see what the button looks like.

A "want" button, as simple as it seems, opens up new consumer and retailing possibilities for Facebook. If you "want" some sandals from Zappos, for example, your friends may see it and check them out. Facebook would immediately fire up its ad business and get new interest from retail partners. 

Rising commodity prices are hurting the food industry.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 6, 2012 1:36PM
Hormel (HRL) is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Spam in style, with an official T-shirt, among other things. But shareholders may not want to stick around for the party that's being "hosted" by the company's Sir Can-A-Lot icon.

Shares of the pork and beef processor are up more than 3% this year, thanks to better-than-expected quarterly earnings spurred by strong sales of its iconic product. But the stock may have gotten ahead of itself. Analysts have an average 52-week price target of $29.13 -- slightly below where it trades now. It has a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.35, the highest level in five years, according to Reuters.
Tags: HRL

With every successful new product, the South Korean company encroaches on the iPhone maker's territory.

By Benzinga Jul 6, 2012 12:42PM
By Louis Bedigian, Benzinga Staff Writer

Samsung is expected to announce another record quarter when it reports at the end of July. But will the company's success come at the expense of Apple (AAPL), Nokia (NOK), and Research in Motion (RIMM)?

It's no secret that the South Korean electronics manufacturer has had a negative impact on its competitors. This is heavily due to its implementation of the Android mobile operating system from Google (GOOG), which the company uses to power all of its phones.


Stocks dip after disappointing June jobs report.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 6, 2012 12:29PM
Information provided by

Seagate Technology (STX) warned it would miss fourth-quarter revenue expectations, citing a failure to capture market share and an issue with a component supplier that the company called "isolated." 

The warning prompted a downgrade of the stock at RW Baird, along with a price target cut at FBN Securities, as well as price target cuts to peer Western Digital (WDC) from CLSA and Baird. Seagate shares fell 3.27% near noon while Western Digital shares slipped 1.24%.  

Profitable US homebuilder NVR is a rarity in an ill-starred industry.

By Gene Marcial Jul 6, 2012 12:10PM

Image: Home under construction (© Corbis)A growth stock in the deeply depressed housing industry? It's true -- and as surprising as it is impressive. The stock is NVR (NVR), one of the largest U.S. homebuilders that's not only making money but is loaded with cash that exceeds the company's liabilities on its balance sheet.


That's the way it should be in any well-managed company but, obviously, not the norm in the struggling homebuilding industry.

Tags: NVR

Limited is initiated with a 'market perform,' and Seagate is downgraded to 'neutral.'

By MSN Money Partner Jul 6, 2012 11:10AM
Information provided by

Friday's noteworthy upgrades include:  
  • Aviva (AV) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Societe Generale
  • Sally Beauty (SBH) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill

Its tempered outlook was still better than the Street's forecast.

By InvestorPlace Jul 6, 2012 10:46AM

By Dan Burrows

Kohl's (KSS) stock has been hammered since late May, when the company said first-quarter earnings fell 23%. On Thursday, the midprice retail chain delivered more bad news -- but apparently it wasn't bad enough for some traders.


Shares in Kohl's rallied sharply despite the poor June sales figures, probably because its disappointing quarterly outlook still remained ahead of Wall Street's even more pessimistic forecast.


A market share loss and supplier issues take a toll on revenue and gross margins.

By Benzinga Jul 6, 2012 10:26AM

By Ilir Shkurti


Hard drive manufacturer Seagate Technology (STX) tempered investor expectations on Thursday when it announced selected preliminary numbers for its fourth fiscal quarter ending on June 29, 2012. The company's earnings call is scheduled for July 30 after the market close.


The company said that while it still expects to report record shipments for the quarter, it would not meet its previously set revenue and margin goals.


Despite a weak quarter, the company's share pullback is creating an opportunity for long-range investors.

By TheStockAdvisors Jul 6, 2012 10:05AM

By Amy Calistri, Stock of the Month


When I first bought shares of the athletic footwear and clothing company Nike (NKE) last October, I bought only half of my intended position.


Nike recently announced its fiscal 2012 fourth-quarter results, and the company missed analysts' expectations by a wide margin. With the stock trading down, I am going to buy additional shares.


The construction materials producer is upgraded because of an expected recovery in the housing market.

By Jul 6, 2012 9:55AM

By Zacks Equity Research


We recently upgraded our rating on construction materials producer Vulcan Materials (VMC) from "neutral" to "outperform" as it stands to benefit largely from a recovering housing market.


With a gradual recovery in the overall economy, the homebuilding industry is finally seeing signs of stabilization in 2012. The downturn during 2006-2007 had hurt the homebuilding sector hard. We believe that the housing market is starting to benefit from an increase in employment rates and higher consumer confidence. Houses are more affordable now as mortgage loans come with relatively low interest rates, while renting becomes more expensive. As the new home construction market started recovering, the demand for Vulcan's products has also gone up.


The European company will now have the capacity to cater to increasing demand for single-aisle aircraft from US airlines.

By Trefis Jul 6, 2012 9:21AM
trefisAirbus (EAD) has announced that it will set up its first manufacturing facility, an assembly plant for its A320 class of aircraft, in the U.S. The plant is to be set-up in Mobile, Alabama, and is scheduled to begin assembly in 2015 with the first plane to roll out in 2016.

The development is a significant one for Boeing (BA). First, the plant brings production of Airbus's single-aisle A320s to the U.S., which is the largest market for single-aisle aircraft and challenges Boeing's dominant position in this class. And second, the plant shall roll out A320neo in the U.S. market in 2016, nearly two years prior to scheduled roll out of Boeing's competing version, Boeing 737MAX.


The online retailer is reportedly developing a smartphone, and the Internet portal is down to 2 CEO candidates.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 6, 2012 8:55AM
By Joseph Woelfel, (AMZN) is developing a smartphone to compete against Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and devices that run Google's (GOOG)Android operating system, Bloomberg reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. Foxconn International Holdings, the Chinese mobile-phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, Bloomberg reported.

Amazon seeks to complement the smartphone strategy by acquiring patents that cover wireless technology and would help it defend against allegations of infringement, other people with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg. Shares of Amazon ticked up 94 cents, or 0.41%, in premarket trading Friday to $228. 

Retailers reported same-store sales Thursday, and many showed growth that missed expectations and slowed from a year earlier.

By Benzinga Jul 5, 2012 7:37PM
Image: woman swiping a credit card © Rubberball/Mike Kemp/Rubberball/Getty ImagesBy Matthew Kanterman, Benzinga Staff Writer

The retail sector is expected to report slowing sales growth for June. Warm weather in the winter months may have contributed to the slowdown, as consumers likely bought warm-weather goods earlier than usual.

Reports from companies such as Costco (COST) have already shown slowing sales growth. For June, Costco reported that sales excluding fuel rose 3% year-over-year, missing expectations of a 3.5% rise.


The automaker looks to boost market share overseas with the introduction of 9 new vehicles.

By Benzinga Jul 5, 2012 7:21PM
Image: Brazil (© Donald Edwards/age fotostock)By Brett Callwood, Benzinga Staff Writer

Auto giant General Motors (GM) is overhauling its lineup to increase its market share in Brazil.

According to Reuters, GM has launched seven new vehicles in Brazil over the past 12 months, with two more due before the end of 2012.

"Our sales forecasts were wrong for all of the recent launches," senior vice president Marcos Munhoz told Reuters.



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[BRIEFING.COM] Just like the geopolitical environment, things could have been better today for the stock market and they could have been worse.  They were worse in the early going as the major indices backpedaled quickly at the start of trading.  The ostensible catalysts for the opening retreat were geopolitical concerns over Israel's ground assault in Gaza and the troublesome diplomatic dealings in the wake of Malaysian Air flight MH17 being shot down over eastern Ukraine last ... More


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